2020 September 11

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Daily news and anti-corruption report

Sep/11/2020: \\ details emerge about mass-alcohol poisoning \\ 2000 assassination attempt of Artsakh prez \\ draft-dodgers could get a chance \\ USA talks investments \\ anti-corruption busts \\ INTERPOL & foreign affairs \\ infrastructure & roads \\ COVID rules change \\ airlines resume \\ exports
by ar_david_hh


the 2000 assassination attempt of Artsakh president: new developments

Decades earlier, Artsakh war general Samvel Babayan (currently security councilman) and several others were found guilty of plotting to kill Artsakh president Arkadi Ghukasyan in 2000. Babayan served 4 years out of 12.

Babayan insisted it was a set up to eliminate him politically. Now there is a new legal process around it.

Artsakh's prosecutors have launched an investigation to find out if former officials abused their powers and committed torture, after Babayan's recent petition.

Babayan claims there is evidence proving that several suspects were innocent, and that they were tortured to testify against Babayan.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195522

New law for diasporan men who didn't serve in the army?

There was a law that used to allow >27yo men to pay a ~$8,000 penalty for not serving in the army, and safely return to Armenia. It recently expired.

The QP party and IND MP drafted a new bill to replace it with a new law.

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The >27yo men could have their records cleared by paying a sum equalling a 2-year army contractor's salary.

And if they decide to voluntarily join the army within 3 years of the payment, they will get a refund, and they'll be able to work in the public service sector in the future.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027342.html

the mass-alcohol poisoning story is being unfolded

10 people died last week after Armavir man (Suspect1) sold homemade vodka with methyl to residents.

The police found the middleman (Suspect2) who sold the vodka to Suspect1.

Middleman Suspect2, in turn, bought it from Suspect3.

--

Suspect2 says he only acted as a middleman between Suspect1 and Suspect3, and that Suspect1 checked the quality before buying.

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Suspect3 claims he is in the alco-gel sanitizer business and not drinking alcohol business. But he later made an interesting revelation:

he recently got into a spirit selling business to make extra cash. That's when he allegedly bought the poisoned batch from someone else (Suspect4), but he didn't know it contained methyl, and when he sold it to Suspect2, the latter didn't notify that it was going to be used for producing a drinkable vodka.

The existence of the alleged Suspect4 is being investigated by police.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195438

Armenia's foreign investment environment is improving

... according to the U.S. State Department, in a lengthy report which talks about the post-revolution anti-corruption fight. "Investors say some problems still exist."

It mentions about the improved ranking in various international indexes, as well as the unresolved issues around Amulsar mining.

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"The law treats foreign and Armenian businesses equally", says the report, "but foreign investors are still concerned about unfair treatment by the judicial system."

"Armenia has a big human capital and population that is educated in math, science, technology, architecture, who work in the high-tech industry."

Intellectual Property rights are still weak.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027349.html

NSS busts officials with unsafe gas station corruption

The report says: several Emergency Ministry officials colluded with a company Director to illegally allow him to build a gas station without a valid permit.

The company sold gas between 2014-2020. It didn't have a gas compression pump, so it used one from a nearby warehouse. The officials failed to conduct safety audits and stop dangerous activities.

A felony case is launched. https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027340.html

Yeghegnut residents "boycott" HHK mayor's return

Yeghegnut residents held another protest in front of the govt building. They don't want their HHK mayor, whom they kicked out in 2018, to return.

Although the mayor resigned, he later sued the government and got his job back because the municipality council never ratified his resignation, thus leaving a loophole for his return.

Now the residents want to kick him out again. "We have two mayors and two stamps, essentially."

https://factor.am/282772.html

bad food or he just needed some cash? 🤔

Former HHK MP Gurgen Arsenyan's son allegedly used two knives to rob his father's cook of $40 while in the kitchen. He's been arrested. The knives were found and confiscated.

https://shamshyan.com/hy/article/2020/09/10/1164268/ , https://factor.am/282910.html

about food poisoning...

Healthcare officials are concerned about the widespread occurrences of food poisoning in recent years.

They advise against homemade canning (zakat) unless you know how to properly treat it with heat. Boil it for 25 minutes before eating. Canning should be done with cooling, drying, or salting. Don't buy homemade can foods.

Poisoned food tastes the same as regular food. It begins destroying your nervous system within 2 hours to 10 days.

More: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195564

Aliyev regime uses INTERPOL for politics

Azeri army recently captured an Armenian soldier who went to check an Armenian outpost but took the wrong route due to bad weather. The soldier was tortured and forced to read a text off the screen.

Aliyev regime claims the soldier "gave names" of "co-conspirators". Now they plan to ask INTERPOL to arrest two "co-conspirator" Armenian officers. Armenian authorities say INTERPOL hasn't received such a request from Azerbaijan, yet.

Azeri army disciplined 14 soldiers for breaking army secrecy laws by recording the Armenian soldier and sending videos to relatives.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195511

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027373.html

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/285024/

Azerbaijan-Israel relations could weaken

After a decade-long honeymoon, Azerbaijan's role for Israel is diminishing.

energy alternatives

In the past, due to the Arab world's sanctions, Israel couldn't purchase oil from the Persian Gulf. The biggest partners were Russia and Azerbaijan. With Israel-UAE relations improving, this might change.

Trump plans to mediate a peace agreement between the two on September 15th. It's expected that the UAE, which is OPEC's 4th largest member, will begin to sell oil to Israel at a cheap price. This could reduce Azerbaijan's importance to Israel.

Azerbaijan's support for Turkey

The Israeli-Turkish relations are keep worsening to due Turkey's support for Hamas, Mediterranean disputes, Turkey's meddling in Palestinian affairs, and Turkey's ever-increasing religious-nationalist rhetoric. Israel is aware of the AZ-TR cooperation.

symbolic Muslim-Jewish cooperation

The relations with Azerbaijan as a Muslim country served a symbolic role for decades. But with the Arab countries (EAU for now, and others might join soon) improving their relations with Israel, the Azeri symbolism diminishes.

Analysis by ArmenPress: https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027357.html

upcoming Independence Day

Niagara Waterfalls will light up in the Armenian flag for 15 minutes on September 21st (at 10 pm) to mark the independence day, said the Armenian embassy in Canada.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027317.html

military training

Armenia used its air defense units to identify and shoot an imaginary enemy as part of a CIS military training.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027389.html

Church gave a green light

The church held a sermon to "bless" the education materials so you can safely go back to school.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=319698079357400

COVID stats

+3,450 tested. +177 infected. +201 healed. +3 deaths. 2880 active. 231259 tested.

Inspectors have found far fewer safety violations lately.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027334.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027402.html

only 2 infections in prisons

Since the beginning of the pandemic, only 2 inmates were infected in the penitentiary system. They were isolated. 71 guards were also diagnosed.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195534

Artsakh has extended the emergency order

...by another month

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027375.html

Armenia declares a 4-month Quarantine

As announced earlier, the Emergency Order is being replaced by a lesser-restrictive "Quarantine" beginning today, until January 11th. "The COVID situation remains tense."

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027391.html

Deputy PM Tigran Avinyan loses his job...

... as the chief Emergency Taskforce Coordinator, because the Taskforce no longer exists. The Healthcare Ministry will take over during the Quarantine.

https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195566

Quarantine rules about overcrowding, army, etc.

Weddings, birthday, funeral, holiday gatherings are allowed with <60 attendees.

Non-commercial concerts, sports, cultural gatherings are allowed with <60 attendees.

Some indoor activities are allowed with <60 people and the right type of air conditioning.

You still need to wear a mask, keep a 1.5m distance, have an ID.

You still can't pay a physical visit to a relative in the army.

After flying to Armenia, you'll either spend 2 weeks at home or take a COVID test at the airport and walk freely if it's negative.

You cannot enter Armenia over land unless you're a citizen, resident, coming for a funeral, a cargo driver, etc.

You can pay a lengthy visit to a prison inmate after getting tested within 3 days of the visit.

More inside:

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027393.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027396.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027398.html

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027421.html

https://www.panarmenian.net/arm/news/285026/

Air France will resume flights to Armenia

... beginning Sunday, with Paris-Yerevan-Paris.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027410.html

20 out of 30 questioned airlines have agreed

... to resume flights with Armenia soon.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027413.html

COVID in Georgia

The neighbors are bracing for impact. 87 cases were found yesterday alone, much higher than earlier.

The 0.7/100,000 infection rate went to 10.2/100,000 since July. As a result, Georgia is downgraded from green to yellow zone.

They decided to delay schools by another 2 weeks in several regions. Theaters and playgrounds will remain closed for another month.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027401.html

https://factor.am/282831.html

Animated graph of Armenia's top export products, by year

https://hetq.am/hy/article/121418

All-Armenia charity fund

... has collected $412,000 in donations for Lebanon-based Armenian teachers and education programs for this school year.

A portion of it will be donated to Lebanon-based media outlets like Ararat, Azdak, etc.

"Lebanese-Armenians have always supported both the homeland and the Diaspora with great devotion. Now it's our turn to help them. The amount raised will - to some extent - alleviate socio-economic difficulties", said the charity.

This particular charity was first held in December-2019 when the Lebanese economy worsened.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027335.html

Armenian women in the military

https://youtu.be/o6VkBqx0xYk

Subsidies for roads and infrastructure upgrades

Shogakhat settlement will have a new solar farm and park. Its surrounding settlements will have street lighting.

Sevan city's Griboyedov street, and roads leading to 5 apartment complexes, are being renovated. They'll have new curbs, signs, etc.

4 roads are being renovated in Tsovagyugh, Gegharquniq.

6km drinking water pipes are being installed in 3 villages in Gegharquniq.

Areni and surrounding "merged" settlements received heavy equipment for sanitation.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027364.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027367.html , https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027369.html , https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195546

oof.... Vanadzor's new fountains are ready

Vanadzor has a new colorful "singing" fountains. Hundreds of residents gathered to watch it. It was first launched in 2019 but was "recalled" for modifications.

They will light up on Tue-Sun between 8-10 pm.

Photos: https://www.armtimes.com/hy/article/195585

Top-5 Armenian books in August

It's that time of the week again. What Armenian books were the Yerevan book-junkies busy reading in August?

5) Թեյահոլիզմ, by Lilith Mkrtchyan. Eleven stories from the author's life.

4) Ինձ պիոններ չնվիրես, by Gohar Navasardyan. A love story.

3) Balzac: A Dog's Tale, by Levon Nes (Hovhannisyan). It's about a wise dog and some intellectual comparisons with humans.

2) Կախվածություն, by Syune Sevada. It's a collection of short stories about various topics.

1) (Չ)վեպ, by Hovhannes Hovakimyan. The protagonist goes through a mental rollercoaster.

https://armenpress.am/arm/news/1027214.html

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You've read 1748 words.


Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/iqy6b2/sep112020_details_emerge_about_massalcohol/

Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams ֏ unless specified otherwise. Helpful overview of Armenia's media ownership and leanings.


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